21 October 2008
The Honourable Minister of Social Development
The Honourable Minister of Finance
Petition in support of the Extension of the Child Support Grant to age 18
We the Black Sash, the Alliance for Children’s Entitlement to Social Security and the South African Council of Churches, hereby present to you a petition in support of the extension of the Child Support Grant to all children, up to the age of 18.
The enclosed petition has no less than 13 500 signatures. They are the signatures of a wide range of South African citizens from cities and small towns across our country.
Their call goes out to you because until such time as the Child Support Grant is extended to children up to the age of 18, the Constitutional rights of approximately two million children in South Africa will not be honoured. Section 28 of the Constitution promises our children that they will be looked after, and yet so many poor teenagers
do not receive social assistance regardless of the fact that they are no less worthy and no less vulnerable than their younger brothers and sisters.
many do not get a nutritious daily meal.
and many more leaves school before completing Grade 12, due to the cost of school uniforms, books and transport.
Without the Child Support Grant, poor and vulnerable children aged 15, 16 and 17 are being condemned to a life of poverty, and South Africa will have to make do with another generation that is without the skills on which our economy relies.
Research, and indeed the government’s own studies, have clearly shown that the Child Support Grant is associated with a decrease in child hunger and child labour and leads to increased school attendance.
As a society, we cannot afford not to invest in our future adults by giving them the life line that the Child Support Grant represents..
We trust that you will hear the voices of more than 13 500 people. We call on you to act today – Extend the Child Support Grant to age 18.